BlackBerry maker begins major layoffs

The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone has begun its second round of layoffs in a year, and while the company isn’t providing specifics just yet, up to 6,000 workers may receive pink slips, according to the Associated Press, citing one analyst.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said he expects Research in Motion to cut about 6,000  of its 16,500 employees to help save about $1 billion, though the company would only say last month that the layoffs will be “significant.” RIM, based in Ontario, Canada, said more specifics would come at the end of the month when it releases its quarterly financial results.

Another analyst, Sameet Kanade of Northern Securities Inc. in Toronto, told Bloomberg the cuts may be in the 2,000 to 3,000 range as the company tries to cut 30 percent of its operating expenses..

In an email obtained by Bloomberg, BlackBerry spokeswoman Tenille Kennedy said, “RIM has committed to achieving significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year. Headcount reductions are part of this initiative.”

The company cut 2,000 workers last July. It has continued to lose market share to Android smartphones and Apple’s iPhone as government agencies and corporations allow their workers to opt for competing brands. BlackBerry has seen its share of the smartphone market drop to around 10 percent from 44 percent.

RIM, which has been criticized for responding too slowly to innovations in the smartphone industry, is pinning its hopes on a new operating system out later this year that will power the next generation of Blackberrys.

Investors also aren’t happy. RIM’s stock has fallen 60 percent over the last 12 months, half of that since the beginning of this year.

21 comments Add your comment

David Weinstein

June 20th, 2012
6:07 pm

RIM’s only hope is if they can strike a deal with Google.

Rick James

June 20th, 2012
6:21 pm

I’m ditching my Blackberry for Android..


June 20th, 2012
6:56 pm

I’m ditching my IPhone for a life

The Truth

June 20th, 2012
7:09 pm

I’m just ditching……..

Blackberry Owner

June 20th, 2012
7:22 pm

The only thing keeping Blackberry alive is the email. I have tried other phones and none of them can compete with the email compatibility that Blackberry has. If it was not for this, I would have ditched mines a long time ago. Blackberry needs to get with the program and get more apps. I understand that it is geared more towards business, but come on….if I’m going to pay for a phone, at least make in comparable to others. There’s no reason I should have a “smartphone” that’s on a kindergarten level when compared to other SMARTphones.


June 20th, 2012
7:44 pm

I see a dead company, but they don’t know they are dead.


June 20th, 2012
8:28 pm

Maybe they should start at the top with the leaders who made poor decisions and caused this mess. Of course, they will lay off the workerbees as always.

[...] said Wednesday it has started laying off employees as part of a restructuring plan aimed at …BlackBerry maker begins major layoffsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 625 news [...]


June 21st, 2012
9:15 am

Dead…just not buried. Someone should throw the dirt on them.

Classic example of a company who has(d) executives with no leadership. Stagnate companies cannot just bank profits. If you dont innovate you die. They thought the iphone could never take the place of their business phone cash machine. Wrong.

Who Cares?

June 21st, 2012
10:06 am

@ locdog59, June 20th, 2012, 7:44 pm & bjohndawg, June 21st, 2012, 9:15 am, you guys nailed it! I am currently suffering and limping through with my Blackberry until my contract expires with AT&T in 4 days. I know, the Blackberry is a business tool, I know, I know, I know. But, my wife and two daughters have iphones and have yet to have ANY issue with either of them. My Blackberry, well, lets just say it’s lucky to be alive. Blackberry is dead, as they’re going the route of the palm treo. They too had their day. I’m done, and will be jumping to Verizon’s new Share Everything plan after they launch it on the 28th of this month. It will be a better fit for us.

And adrian, June 20th, 2012, 8:28 pm, you too hit the nail on the head! But come on, you know corporate management never holds themselves accountable for their incompetence and corruptness. That stuff always gets blamed on the actual workers. It’s that way in virtually every organization. And, that’s a huge contributor to why this country is where it is economically today. Ah, gotta love corporate greed!


June 21st, 2012
11:09 am

Totally agree with all of you. I had a Blackberry back in 2007 – 2009 – served its purpose then, and I didn’t have a problem with it until the very end. Then I switched to an iPhone (with a small Android-based phone interlude) and I haven’t looked back. Going back to Blackberry now would be like going back to the Stone Age. Apple and Android based-phones are so far ahead they’ve basically lapped Blackberry. RIM employees, those not receiving a pink slip, anyway – it’d be a real good idea to update your resumes!

Food for thought

June 21st, 2012
11:29 am

RIM v Mformation trial started two days ago. A loss for RIM would mean the end of BlackBerry.


June 21st, 2012
11:42 am

Enter your comments here


June 21st, 2012
11:43 am

blackberry?? don’t waste money on that junk—buy the Iphone 5 in the fall—nothing else compares.


June 21st, 2012
11:53 am

Blackberry, I am trying to hold on! I’m probably the only person that still has one.

#1 Blackberry User

June 21st, 2012
12:35 pm

I must say that these Iphone’s and Android ohones are geared for entertainment and has all that you can ask for in a phone. But when it comes to Blackberry, there is no doubt it’s the best BUSINESS phone you can have. I’ve been with Blackberry since 1998, started with Nextel and I thought about switching to something else over the year’s but the other phones couldn’t do half of what Blackberry does as far as BUSINESS stuff. I recently bought a HTC phone to try it out but I took it right back 2 weeks later because like I said if you like looking at videos, taking pictures, watching TV then those iPhones and Androids are perfect but if you are trying to hold a conference call, email with your work email, no drop calls, conduct a meeting while traveling then Blackberry is the number 1 phone to handle business. I know some people would disagree but it is what it is.


June 21st, 2012
12:38 pm

Ditched my Blackberry in January when my contract ended. Got an IPhone 4S and could not be happier.

Parker Jones

June 21st, 2012
12:50 pm

Used a Blackberry for 8 years until January of this year when I purchased my iPhone 4gs. Never going back. BB missed the boat, they just assumed that their devices would always be used for business and iPhones for entertainment. But like short-sighted dummies they underestimated the market and their competition. Now it’s the Bataan Death for BB. Sayonara RIM, fare thee well…


June 21st, 2012
1:10 pm

I HATED MY BLACKBERRY!!! Switching to the iPhone 4 was the best decision I could have ever made!

Who Cares?

June 21st, 2012
10:09 pm

@ #1 Blackberry User, June 21st, 2012, 12:35 pm, it’s 2012 bud. Blackberry has seen its day. I have one for my business and have been miserable tolerating the thing after the first six months. Maybe you’ve had better luck, but I can’t handle the email server problems that I have dealt with from Blackberry. As far as depending on it for business, I can’t trust that it won’t freeze up (or lock up) at any given time. Their technology was good, with “was” being the key word here. I’ve had two, and that’s enough for me. Entertainment? That’s what my Blackberry has been. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to laugh to keep from throwing the thing out the window. If this is the best business smart phone, then maybe we should be checking our pagers and checking the fax machine too, as the Blackberry was king when we depended on these things years ago.


June 22nd, 2012
2:19 pm

As a ATT employee, the demise of Blackberry in just a few years is shocking. Do not know what the Top management was thinking, but now they are thinking how could I have killed the Golden goose so fast.